Sperling: Hey, there’s no “magic number” for ObamaCare

posted at 12:41 pm on January 6, 2014 by Erika Johnsen

Just over two million Americans had enrolled in ObamaCare via the combined federal and state exchanges as of December 31st, according to the White House, but that’s still rather a far cry from the more than three million they originally hoped would be enrolled in insurance plans by that time. While it is true that signups accelerated as some of the various websites started to net marginal improvements toward the end of that open enrollment period and it’s possible that ObamaCare could still come close to the seven-million-by-March-31st original target that the administration is now desperately waving away. What they did not reveal, however, was the all-important demographic breakdown of those numbers, and that is the magical formula that determines whether ObamaCare will be able to keep its head above the water. As Secretary Sebelius has said, “it’s both about numbers and hopefully getting a balanced risk pool,” and disclosing whether their current pool is balanced is a factoid that they are conspicuously avoiding; indeed, after Chuck Todd remarked earlier in the show that the administration would like to be talking about NSA reforms, Janet Yellin’s confirmation, unemployment benefits, and ultimately “anything other than healthcare,” Sperling rejoined with the assurance that they’d just love to to talk about ObamaCare, but immediately reverted to the usual talking points about the program’s many miraculous benefits including keeping kids on their parents’ insurance, zero price discrimination for women, blah blah blah. I wouldn’t expect those demographic numbers anytime soon. Via RCP:

SPERLING: First of all, there’s no magic number. The key is to enroll as many people, have an exchange that’s working, have a stable –

GREGORY: The secretary of Health and Human Services said that was success, 7 million people by March.

SPERLING: I think success is having an ongoing, strong market, and I want to disagree with Chuck Todd. I am anxious to talk, and we are anxious to talk about what health care means. For all the criticism, how about some focus on 6 million Americans who now have coverage, 3 million young people who are on their parents’ coverage because of Obamacare. And, David, today is the first day, this is the first week ever where women cannot be discriminated against on their health care just because they’re women. It’s the first time 129 million Americans cannot be discriminated against because they have a pre-existing condition.


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bishop?
did I do it tight?

dmacleo on January 6, 2014 at 12:44 PM

We won’t talk about numbers, because math is hard.

Marcola on January 6, 2014 at 12:45 PM

Where are the 30 million they ruined the healthcare system enrolled?

tim c on January 6, 2014 at 12:48 PM

Also, if you avoid numbers and keep everything subjective, lying is much easier.

Marcola on January 6, 2014 at 12:48 PM

“Ignore the Failure behind the Curtain!

The Great and Powerful O’Bozz has spoken!”

orangemtl on January 6, 2014 at 12:48 PM

Paying more than men for a plan that covers something men will never need (anything related to giving birth to a child) is somehow now discrimination? That’s probably the stupidest thing I’ve heard all year. No, actually the “solution” of forcing men to pay for something they’ll never need is the stupidest, but I’ve heard that last year too.

Cyhort on January 6, 2014 at 12:49 PM

Have we figured out yet what 2 million “enrolled means”? How many of those enrolled in Medicaid?

Texas Zombie on January 6, 2014 at 12:50 PM

Does this government do anything well? I mean, besides confiscating money from the citizens?

birdwatcher on January 6, 2014 at 12:53 PM

2 million gained.
5 million lost.

3 million less people with insurance-_CAN WE TALK ABOUT THIS?

hillsoftx on January 6, 2014 at 12:54 PM

It’s the first time 129 million Americans cannot be discriminated against because they have a pre-existing condition.

Really? Over 30% of the US population has a “pre-existing” condition?

BacaDog on January 6, 2014 at 12:54 PM

bishop?
did I do it tight?

dmacleo on January 6, 2014 at 12:44 PM

I’ll bet you were hoping no one noticed, yes?

Bishop on January 6, 2014 at 12:55 PM

It still seems utterly implausible that this administration and the party to which it ascribes would go to so much trouble for less people than live in the city of Houston.

And the number of people actually buying into the system rather than reaping the benefits of other people’s money, is probably less than those who live in my hometown of Baltimore.

What a shame.

BKeyser on January 6, 2014 at 12:55 PM

Reminds me of the scene in “Back to School” with
Rodney Dangerfield.

he’s in some Business class, and the Perfessor talks about setting
up a business…..when he’s finished with his plan, Dangerfield
pipes up, “why not build it in FANTASYLAND.”

ToddPA on January 6, 2014 at 12:56 PM

Ah, but lets not forget about the other 200 million or so that WILL be discriminated against for NOT having a pre-existing condition by means of paying higher premiums and deductibles.

Yeah, GREAT.

deadrody on January 6, 2014 at 12:56 PM

Sperling: Hey, there’s no “magic number” for ObamaCare

So what ever happens, we’ll declare it smashing success.

BigWyo on January 6, 2014 at 12:57 PM

For all the criticism, how about some focus on 6 million Americans who now have coverage,

Many of these, in fact, nearly all of them had insurance just 2-3 months ago. Then you took that away, required them to purchase your product, and claim it as a miracle.

3 million young people who are on their parents’ coverage because of Obamacare.

Fancy that. I could’ve sworn my kid was listed as a dependent on my insurance policy since the day he was born. I think he means the super-duper new policy where kids can be on mummys policy until they’re 26. Anyone know what the age was before Obama worked this miracle? Hmmmm? It was 25. They added a single year, 365 days, and the way they talk about it you’d think they single-handedly invented dependent coverage.

And, David, today is the first day, this is the first week ever where women cannot be discriminated against on their health care just because they’re women.

It’s the first time 129 million Americans cannot be discriminated against because they have a pre-existing condition.

Both of those statements are proof of a complete lack of understanding of risk. Which costs more to maintain? A machine with 50 parts, or one with 100 parts? Its not discrimination. Its biology. But rest assured, HotAirians, I will have my pap smeared annually, and my man-boobs photographed as often as I can.

I’m paying for it…therefore I’m entitled to it. Its the doctors’ problem to figure out how to do it.

BobMbx on January 6, 2014 at 12:57 PM

bishop?
did I do it tight?

dmacleo on January 6, 2014 at 12:44 PM

Bishop wannabe FAIL.

Sometimes I’m the first poster, but I never Bishop. It’s like the “FIRST!” posters back in the days of yore on LGF. Say something pithy, instead of just squatting in the first post.

Ward Cleaver on January 6, 2014 at 12:58 PM

As Secretary Sebelius has said, “it’s both about numbers and hopefully getting a balanced risk pool,” and disclosing whether their current pool is balanced is a factoid that they are conspicuously avoiding;

Well all that matters is that the pool is balanced in the end. To release numbers now would be premature and a little like a cake that isn’t fully baked yet. We know that the younger healthier people vital for a balanced pool are notorious procrastinators and will wait until the very last minute to lace up the onesie and actually enroll. But on balance we’re excited about where we are in the enrollment process with millions getting health insurance for the very first time and gender equity in health prices!

- Pretty much the riff we will be hearing for the next three months.

Happy Nomad on January 6, 2014 at 12:58 PM

Spin dips. All of them.
The lazy media is getting thrown softballs yet they refuse to swing. 2014 will be a year of reckoning for the media as they continue to report falsehoods while the country suffers.

Bensonofben on January 6, 2014 at 12:59 PM

So what ever happens, we’ll declare it smashing success.

BigWyo on January 6, 2014 at 12:57 PM

I think they’d just as soon everyone forgot about OCare.

Ward Cleaver on January 6, 2014 at 12:59 PM

bishop?
did I do it tight?

dmacleo on January 6, 2014 at 12:44 PM

I’ll bet you were hoping no one noticed, yes?

Bishop on January 6, 2014 at 12:55 PM

Was waiting for the response. Speaking of “tight”,

that Hillary thread is “inviting”

ToddPA on January 6, 2014 at 12:59 PM

Obama, Caligula’s Spawn, through your arrogance, heartlessness and stupidity, you have opened this formally blessed land and millions of innocent lives to the horror and devastation of ObamaCare… –

VorDaj on January 6, 2014 at 1:02 PM

-So Mr. Fuhrer, how is the war on the Eastern Front going?

“Well, we’ve captured a good number of enemy soldiers and destroyed 200 of their tanks recently. I think this success speaks well for the decision to invade Russia in the first place.”

-What about our own losses? How many of our own soldiers and tanks have been destroyed?

“Yeah, uh, we don’t release that sort of information.”

Bishop on January 6, 2014 at 1:03 PM

Know what I’m in the mood for?

Some more lies from the government.

forest on January 6, 2014 at 1:03 PM

I’ll bet you were hoping no one noticed, yes?

Bishop on January 6, 2014 at 12:55 PM

seeing as I had NO idea what thats all about I took a chance :)

dmacleo on January 6, 2014 at 1:08 PM

3 million less people with insurance-_CAN WE TALK ABOUT THIS?

hillsoftx on January 6, 2014 at 12:54 PM

Of course not. Nor can we talk about how few of those 2M “enrolled” have actually paid their premiums. Nor can we talk about the enrolled literally walking out of the hospital untreated when they find out what it is going to cost them.

No, all we can talk about is number enrolled and how great it is that the gals are forcing everybody to pay more for health insurance.

Happy Nomad on January 6, 2014 at 1:08 PM

dammit I just noticed the typo too LOL
lyrica messes up vision.

dmacleo on January 6, 2014 at 1:10 PM

bishop?
did I do it tight?

dmacleo on January 6, 2014 at 12:44 PM

I’ll bet you were hoping no one noticed, yes?

Bishop on January 6, 2014 at 12:55 PM

Well somtimes TightIsRight

(FYI, if NFL cheerleaders don’t offend you, then the link is “suitable” for all audiences…)

climbnjump on January 6, 2014 at 1:11 PM

Later this month I visiting my Dr. The first question from me to her will be when can I get my pap smear and mamogram. I can’t wait to see the look on her face.

D-fusit on January 6, 2014 at 1:11 PM

The first question from me to her will be when can I get my pap smear and mamogram. I can’t wait to see the look on her face.

D-fusit on January 6, 2014 at 1:11 PM

And don’t take no for an answer from some foot pirate! Obama says that those benefits are your right!

Happy Nomad on January 6, 2014 at 1:16 PM

Almost 6 millions people lost their insurance last year because of Obamacare and they only enrolled two millions people in Obamacare and many of them have not yet paid i.e. they have no insurance… This means that now there are 4 million less people with healh insurance than before the Obamacare mega disaster… Tens of millions more to be badly impacted by Omabacare this year due to employer mandate…

mnjg on January 6, 2014 at 1:19 PM

Byron York just tweeted this morning a link to a news piece from December 30th that shows the administration is concerned about the spiking insurance costs. It seems they know they built the Edsel.

HHS Announces reinsurance fee

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) established the transitional reinsurance fee, which is levied on employers and insurers to finance a temporary reinsurance fund to stabilize premiums in the individual market (inside and outside the exchanges). The fee will be imposed over three years: 2014, 2015 and 2016.

ojfltx on January 6, 2014 at 1:19 PM

bishop?
did I do it tight?

dmacleo on January 6, 2014 at 12:44 PM

Bishop wannabe FAIL.

Sometimes I’m the first poster, but I never Bishop. It’s like the “FIRST!” posters back in the days of yore on LGF. Say something pithy, instead of just squatting in the first post.

Ward Cleaver on January 6, 2014 at 12:58 PM

Besides, it only counts if it’s the QOTD thread. And even then it only really counts if you’re actually Bishop.

whatcat on January 6, 2014 at 1:31 PM

This is supposed to be a happy occasion! Let’s not bicker and argue about who killed who.”

Deafdog on January 6, 2014 at 1:33 PM

Byron York just tweeted this morning a link to a news piece from December 30th that shows the administration is concerned about the spiking insurance costs.

oh its coming alright…that certain procedure they recommend men over 50 get every 5 years cost me $20 in co-pay last time. I got a call from the doctor’s office telling me to bring in a $500 check this time.

DanMan on January 6, 2014 at 1:37 PM

And no, my premiums did not go down at all. The girl came right out and said it was because of Obamacare regulations.

DanMan on January 6, 2014 at 1:38 PM

There’s No law in DC either.

Schadenfreude on January 6, 2014 at 1:42 PM

Women aren’t discriminated against. Actuarial lay they cost more to insure. Forcing men and women to pay the same rates us discriminatory against men.

Charlemagne on January 6, 2014 at 1:44 PM

Here’s something I don’t get.

They’ve signed up 2 million. I thought Obama said that we had 31 million uninsured. Other Dems used figures of 40 to 50 million uninsured.

What’s happening with the other 29 to 48 million? Are they getting shoved into Medicaid?

BuckeyeSam on January 6, 2014 at 1:48 PM

the “solution” of forcing men to pay for something they’ll never need is the stupidest

Cyhort on January 6, 2014 at 12:49 PM

It is not just the men. A woman who does not want kids has to pay for maternity coverage. Same for a woman with a hysterectomy.

Everyone has to pay for pediatric vision and dental coverage, even if you do not have kids. (I have four kids, and it actually makes more economic sense for me to pay out of pocket for dental visits, than to pay for “pediatric dental”.)

This stupidity is an example of the bureaucratically-run society, taken to its idiotic extremes.

SubmarineDoc on January 6, 2014 at 1:50 PM

This is supposed to be a happy occasion! Let’s not bicker and argue about who killed who.”

Deafdog on January 6, 2014 at 1:33 PM

One of my fav lines – but you forgot the link.

whatcat on January 6, 2014 at 1:52 PM

Here’s something I don’t get.

They’ve signed up 2 million. I thought Obama said that we had 31 million uninsured. Other Dems used figures of 40 to 50 million uninsured.

What’s happening with the other 29 to 48 million? Are they getting shoved into Medicaid?

BuckeyeSam on January 6, 2014 at 1:48 PM

They will continue to be uninsured BuckeyeSam.

ojfltx on January 6, 2014 at 1:53 PM

Another nugget from Byron York. Some liberals are now speculating openly this was built to fail to promote single payer.

How Obamacare Actually Paves the Way Toward Single Payer

ojfltx on January 6, 2014 at 1:56 PM

Know what I’m in the mood for?

Some more lies from the government.

forest on January 6, 2014 at 1:03 PM

Well, you sure came to the right place. Welcome to 0bamaland, formerly known as the United States of America

UltimateBob on January 6, 2014 at 1:57 PM

rest assured, HotAirians, I will have my pap smeared annually, and my man-boobs photographed as often as I can.

I’m paying for it…therefore I’m entitled to it. Its the doctors’ problem to figure out how to do it.

BobMbx on January 6, 2014 at 12:57 PM

Careful there…you might not want to know what your doc is going to have to do for that annual pap smear :)

SubmarineDoc on January 6, 2014 at 1:57 PM

This is supposed to be a happy occasion! Let’s not bicker and argue about who killed who.”

Deafdog on January 6, 2014 at 1:33 PM

It’s as if you were at the Nomad Christmas dinner w/ the radical feminist sister-in-law not being able (or willing) to take the hint that politics, especially Obamacare, was off limits in the name of faux family harmony.

Happy Nomad on January 6, 2014 at 1:58 PM

Another nugget from Byron York. Some liberals are now speculating openly this was built to fail to promote single payer.

ojfltx on January 6, 2014 at 1:56 PM

“Liberals” (I prefer to call them radical far-leftists) aren’t the only ones saying that. Many of us knew that from the early days of the 0bama administration. In fact, 0bama himself, as well as many other radical far-leftists have been saying for a long time that this was just a first step towards a complete government takeover of the nation’s healthcare system.

UltimateBob on January 6, 2014 at 1:59 PM

Have we figured out yet what 2 million “enrolled means”? How many of those enrolled in Medicaid?

Texas Zombie on January 6, 2014 at 12:50 PM

It was announced that an additional 3.9 million Americans learned they’re eligible for coverage through Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) in October and November.
That’s how they’re getting the 6 million figure.

These numbers include new eligibility determinations and some Medicaid and CHIP renewals.

lynncgb on January 6, 2014 at 2:02 PM

Another nugget from Byron York. Some liberals are now speculating openly this was built to fail to promote single payer.

ojfltx on January 6, 2014 at 1:56 PM

That was the plan but they blew it. Transition to single payer only works with a gradual fail. This has been an epic fail. Hard to make the case for massive government takeover of healthcare when the government can’t even get enrollment to work right (the easy part of the process).

Happy Nomad on January 6, 2014 at 2:03 PM

Here’s something I don’t get.

They’ve signed up 2 million. I thought Obama said that we had 31 million uninsured. Other Dems used figures of 40 to 50 million uninsured.

What’s happening with the other 29 to 48 million? Are they getting shoved into Medicaid?

BuckeyeSam on January 6, 2014 at 1:48 PM

As far as I can tell, they’re counting the new Medicaid enrolees in the 2 million figure to try and get that number up. So, they’re way short of covering those 40 or 50 million uninsured that they’ve been whining about.

UltimateBob on January 6, 2014 at 2:04 PM

Prescription pickup…we have to start putting out tissues and a fainting couch. I sold four drugs to an older couple two days ago on a traditional (not federal, not part d) blue cross plan. It was almost $500 and when I looked to see if they had a deductible (it shows family, not individual) it was $12,0000. They will essentially pay cash for the whole year at these prices for these and other meds. Retirement….gone. Just sucked away.

winoceros on January 6, 2014 at 2:11 PM

If the uninsured could mostly have gotten Medicaid, why do we need obamacare anyway? We’ve been screaming all of these points at the tv since 2009. Flew our flag upside down. Warned people. They just don’t get it. They get it now. All the docs that come to the pharmacy get it. They’re getting out or going cash.

winoceros on January 6, 2014 at 2:13 PM

They will essentially pay cash for the whole year at these prices for these and other meds. Retirement….gone. Just sucked away.

winoceros on January 6, 2014 at 2:11 PM

In the words of Nancy Pelosi- Embrace the suck.

Happy Nomad on January 6, 2014 at 2:18 PM

New meme of the day. It’s not magic, Einstein. It’s economics.

John the Libertarian on January 6, 2014 at 2:25 PM

Almost 6 millions people lost their insurance last year because of Obamacare and they only enrolled two millions people in Obamacare and many of them have not yet paid i.e. they have no insurance… This means that now there are 4 million less people with healh insurance than before the Obamacare mega disaster.

mnjg on January 6, 2014 at 1:19 PM

Many of those 4 million were given the option to re-instate their cancelled policy without going through an exchange.

The administration is reporting -fwiw- that half of those that received cancellation notices will be given the option to renew their old coverage. I was one of them.

Anyone who wasn’t able to get back their 2013 policy, may have still been automatically enrolled in a new O’care compliant plan…without ever going through an exchange.

So the number of people left without coverage will be lower.

Again, fwiw, here’s how the Dems say it will all shake out.
http://democrats.energycommerce.house.gov/sites/default/files/documents/ACA-Coverage-Statistics-2013-12-31.pdf

lynncgb on January 6, 2014 at 2:28 PM

bishop?
did I do it tight?

dmacleo on January 6, 2014 at 12:44 PM

I’ll bet you were hoping no one noticed, yes?

Bishop on January 6, 2014 at 12:55 PM

I think you got a solid trademark lawsuit there.

whatcat on January 6, 2014 at 2:42 PM

I sold four drugs to an older couple two days ago on a traditional (not federal, not part d) blue cross plan.
winoceros on January 6, 2014 at 2:11 PM

I’m hopin’ that you work at a pharmacy.
:D

whatcat on January 6, 2014 at 2:45 PM

David Gregory needs to be publicly routed out……..

williamg on January 6, 2014 at 2:48 PM

whatcat on January 6, 2014 at 2:45 PM

Come on, it’s just another competitor in the marketplace. Free market, baby.

Yeah. A pharmacy.

winoceros on January 6, 2014 at 5:39 PM

The administration is reporting -fwiw- that half of those that received cancellation notices will be given the option to renew their old coverage. I was one of them.

But at the same premium and deductible and network? Is “the book” just as thick as last year’s? The one that lists all the participating providers?

winoceros on January 6, 2014 at 5:44 PM

Theh trolls are amazingly absent on this one. It’s clearly toxic and they know it.

Freelancer on January 6, 2014 at 11:04 PM